After finally securing his side’s first home win of the League, Arsene Wenger has come out to shower praises on Theo Walcott and the defending duo of Koscielny And Gabriel. The Gunners defeated Stokes City 2 – 0 at the Emirates, after having failed to win their first 2 home games, making Arsene Wenger come under heavy criticisms for failing to bring in a striker during the Summer transfer. He however chose to stick with Olivier Giroud as his only recognized striker, while Theo Walcott was converted from a winger to a full forward. Both went on to score against Stokes, with Giroud coming off the bench to net the 2nd.
Wenger defended his choice of starting with Walcott ahead of the France international thus,
“To use the movement of Walcott. I know Stoke are a compact, organised team in their own half and Theo could find little pockets to get in their and maybe that you get two or three chances to counter attack at home so maybe you can use that.
He scored a great goal because you needed technical quality to score and timing in the finish. He has chances. He can be a prolific goalscorer. When you come out of the game and look at the amount of chances he scored. The bigger the belief he has to score the more he will score. But he gets in good situations. It is good Giroud came on scored as well.”
Arsenal missed quite a number of clear chances at goal, and the Stokes keeper, Jack Butland also helped to keep the Gunners at bay. However, Wenger believes being critical of the number of chances seen not reflecting on the number of goals in the match wouldn’t be necessary, as goals will rightly come as the team continues to grow more in confidence and win more home games.
He also showered praises on defensive midfielder, Francis Coquelin – who helped pivot the team well in the middle, and the defence partnership of Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny, who both provided much cover for Petr Cech who was hardly troubled by the Stokes City attack.